Chicken, meats, fish, and more!
When Daphne Rubin-Vega first started dating her now-husband, Thomas Costanzo, the In the Heights star knew she had to bring her A-game in the kitchen. Costanzo comes from a long line of exceptional Italian cooks, so if she wanted to win his heart, she knew she had to take the most obvious route—through his stomach. Luckily, Rubin-Vega had a secret weapon: her aromatic, veggie-heavy sofrito. “His response was, ‘We need to put this in everything,’” she recalls. “He was like, ‘We have to have a jar of this stuff handy for all kinds of different things!’”
And sure enough, 19 years into their marriage, Rubin-Vega always does keep a container in the fridge. What she loves about the oniony-peppery-garlicky-tomatilloy blend is that it goes with nearly everything. “If I have a good sofrito, it really legitimizes the rest of the food. I can’t make good beans or a stew without sofrito,” she says. “Marinating chicken, meats, even fish. I put it on pretty much everything other than salad—but that might even work, too.”
And her sofrito might have been right at home in last summer’s In The Heights, the Lin Manuel-Miranda hit show that Rubin-Vega has been involved with since it was Off-Broadway. (In the film, Rubin-Vega plays Daniela, co-owner of a neighborhood hair salon.) And the film nails the Latinx experience—down to the food. “I still see the shot of the food [in the scene at] abuela’s house. The guava, the cheese, just those details,” she says. “And the food was good. It wasn’t just ‘show food,’ it was actually quite delicious.” Just like her sofrito.
“It can usually stay forever!”
One yellow onion
One green (or orange, yellow, or red) pepper
Three cloves of garlic
A sprig of cilantro
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Either a pilón or a blender
Chop all of your ingredients roughly, and throw them in the blender with the olive oil, salt, and pepper and then blend away.
Blend it until it’s puree-y with a little bit of chunks left in it. So it’s the consistency right before it turns into a smoothie.
However, if you use the pilón instead of the blender, you’d start with the olive oil on the pilón. Then you’d mash the garlic, add a sprig of cilantro, then the onions, and finally the peppers. (It’s more work but it’s good for your biceps and the flavors are especially magical.)
You can also add your own little twists to the recipe. Turmeric is really good in it, and sometimes a hint of cayenne or paprika can pop it up. Some people will also add a little vinegar.
When you’re done, add one heaping tablespoon to rice, stews, and marinades. You can add it to almost anything and it will kick the flavors up five notches.
Store it in an airtight container and if you don’t contaminate it with something outside it can usually stay forever. (Or until it starts looking a funny color or smelling bad.)
This story originally appeared on: Glamour - Author:Condé Nast